Monday, November 16, 2015

Cupcakes and Cocktails - Epicurean Hotel

October is one of my favorite months out of the year because of Halloween. It has always been my favorite holiday. I don't know if it's the absurd amount of candy I get to eat almost guilt-free or the awesome costumes everyone gets to dress up in, but this day is dear to my heart.

I was very excited to hear about the October edition of Cupcakes and Cocktails, because Halloween cupcakes are especially my favorite. Seeing cupcakes with brains or eyes decorated on them just makes it all the more fun!

Chef Beth came up with an amazing menu for the October class:
Hard Apple Cider Cupcakes with Whiskey Caramel Apple Filling and Whiskey Buttercream
Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
Brown Sugar Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream

Cupcakes with paired cocktails
Now I have to admit that at first I was a little disappointed that Chef Beth went with the stereotypical pumpkin flavor for October. With all the hype around pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING, I was hoping to get away with that. Let me tell you though, *SPOILER ALERT* she did this pumpkin flavor right! It was nothing like all those pumpkin spiced lattes and what was a delicious tribute to the pumpkin, almost like a pumpkin pie in a cupcake!

Once I got over the pumpkin judging, I was really looking forward to the cocktails. Fireball Whiskey and apple cider is my favorite combination. The cocktail (and the cupcake) did not disappoint. It was the start to a glorious trio of cocktails. The candied pecan old fashion and the bourbon spiked hot chocolate were wonderful cocktails that I fully intend on having at home when it finally gets "cold" here in Tampa.

My favorite cupcake of the night was obviously the Hard Apple Cider cupcake. It was a deliciously spiked apple pie in my mouth, without the crust. That wasn't a disappointment though. The pumpkin and chocolate cupcakes were following right behind. I decided after the initial tastes that these were cupcakes I wasn't going to share...sorry friends!

I really enjoyed the decorating part of the evening. I finally learned how to do the spider web design everyone does so well, though I apparently still need some practice. Interestingly, when I was decorating my own cupcakes, I forgot to fill the apple cupcakes with the filling (which is also the garnish), so I decided to fill the pumpkin cupcake with the spiked apple filling. It turned out to be a delicious mistake! The two flavors combined was a treat to my tongue! 

Another huge shout out to Chef Beth for a wonderful night of drinking and decorating! I can't wait to see what November and December have in store for us. You always keep me guessing on what you're going to put on the menu and I am always pleasantly surprise!

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